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Keyboard keys sound easy but their particular shape is really weird, and keeps tripping me up. Specifically my keyboard keys, but I'm pretty sure they are similar to other keyboard keys.

A few photos for reference:

The corners are rounded and the top is sloped inward.
reference picture of a keyboard key

But we can't forget that the top (that is already slopped inward) is also slopped downhill.
reference picture of a keyboard key

I've tried starting with the rounded corners, but I can't add the slopped top without some horrible triangle topology. I've also tried starting with the slopped top, but then I have no idea how to add the corners.

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    $\begingroup$ Do you know about proportional editing? (wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/3D_interaction/…) $\endgroup$ – ajwood Apr 3 '15 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ Also, bevel will be useful: wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Modeling/Meshes/… $\endgroup$ – ajwood Apr 3 '15 at 13:55
  • $\begingroup$ Yes I'm sort of familiar with both of those, but I don't have a clear idea of how they would be used best here. $\endgroup$ – meed96 Apr 3 '15 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ This is a basic modelling technique, use part of a circle for the concave top, and just scale the base and rotate to make it fit the reference. IDK if this answer would be any help or not. $\endgroup$ – VRM Apr 3 '15 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ Keep in mind that there are other key shapes for different boards. the itsy-bitsy bumps that get worn of within two days can just be done with a simple noise texture set veeeery small. Adding oil and worn parts from fingers will be the hardest, but can also be accomplished with a texture. $\endgroup$ – Scalia Apr 3 '15 at 15:39
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In short, start from a cube. (in the gif I have a mirror modifier to save time)
Delete the bottom face.
Add loop cuts for the rounded top.
Position the top correctly, by simply G grabing, and R rotating and S sclaing the top geometry.
Use proportional editing O to create the dip in the top.
CtrlB to bevel the vertical sides.
(optional) Remove the Ngons in the top, that beveling the sides created.
Bevel the top ridge to make it smother and more realistic.

animated gif

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  • $\begingroup$ Always so obvious and simple, my thanks again David. Also, how do you make those gifs? What software? $\endgroup$ – meed96 Apr 3 '15 at 16:00
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    $\begingroup$ @meed96 I use LICEcap, others here use GifCam also very good, both are free. For the key display, I use either Screencast Keys, or KeyCastOW. See this on how to get the gif into the post. $\endgroup$ – David Apr 3 '15 at 16:10

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